AJ Freund: Parents of a missing 5-year-old boy charged with his murder

Lily Puckett

Parents of a missing five-year-old boy have been charged with his murder.

Andrew Freund reported his son AJ missing on Thursday morning from their home in Crystal Lake, Illinois, prompting a near week-long investigation by the police and the FBI.

On Wednesday, police announced that Freund and AJ’s mother Joann Cunningham have been charged with AJ's murder.

They are both facing five counts of first degree murder, as well as aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, concealment of a homicide, and failure to report a missing child.

Police said they found what they believe is AJ's body "buried in a shallow grave wrapped in plastic" in Woodstock, Illinois. In a press conference on Wednesday, Crystal Lake police chief Jim Black said the cause of death has not yet been determined.

The police confirmed in the same conference that information provided by Freund and Cunningham “ultimately led to the recovery of the deceased subject.’

CNN reports that officials had previously visited the home of Freund and Cunningham and found it to be in ‘unliveable’ conditions. One report from 2018 reveals that officers ‘recalled going upstairs to where Cunningham’s two boys slept only to smell a strong smell of faeces with the windows open.’

Freund and Cunningam are currently being held in McHenry County Jail. If convicted, both could face life in prison.

It was previously reported that AJ’s younger sibling is currently living with another family.